Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Book Review I Need My Monster
Author: Amanda Noll
Illustrator: Howard McWilliam
Publisher: Flashlight Press (April 1, 2009)
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8
Rating: 5 Star
Description from GoodReads:
A unique monster-under-the-bed story with the perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this picture book relies on the power of humor over fear, appeals to a child’s love for creatures both alarming and absurd, and glorifies the scope of a child’s imagination. One night, when Ethan checks under his bed for his monster, Gabe, he finds a note from him instead: "Gone fishing. Back in a week." Ethan knows that without Gabe’s familiar nightly scares he doesn't stand a chance of getting to sleep, so Ethan interviews potential substitutes to see if they've got the right equipment for the job—pointy teeth, sharp claws, and a long tail—but none of them proves scary enough for Ethan. When Gabe returns sooner than expected from his fishing trip, Ethan is thrilled. It turns out that Gabe didn't enjoy fishing because the fish scared too easily.
Every parent with a small child knows that at one point their child is going to ask about a monster under their bed or in the closet. There have been several well-known books that have dealt wonderfully with this topic. Amanda Noll's picture book I NEED MY MONSTER is a great addition to "monsters at bedtime" themed books.
Ethan's monster Gabe - you know the one that lives under his bed - has gone on vacation. What is a boy to do? With a thump on the floor, a series of substitute monsters arrive. With each new monster, there is something not quite right. One monster doesn't have claws, another no real tail, and geez, one is a girl with painted nails/claws. Ethan makes it clear to Cynthia that no boy has a girl monster. After awhile, Ethan is told that he is just too picky. As he tries to figure out how he is going to make it through the night, Gabe returns and all has become right with the world.
Howard McWilliam's dark, bold illustrations nearly pop from the book and add a nice balance to Noll's story. This is a great book to read with children and can be used to look at the issue of monsters at bed time with humor and sensitivity.